The Raven

Irene Ware and Raine Bennett satisfy the great public demand for interpretive dance based on Edgar Allen Poe in The Raven (dir. Louis Friedlander [Lew Landers], 1935)

"Yes ... I like to torrturrre!" The Poe-obsessed Dr. Vollin exemplifies the qualities that made Lugosi so horrifying: a repellent sexual selfishness that erupts into gleeful sadism, filtered through truly compelling bad acting. Dr. Vollin builds elaborate working models of the terrors in Poe's stories, including a full-size pit and pendulum into which he straps a virtuous old judge. There's also an early version of the trash-compactor room from Star Wars. Karloff stumbles around evoking mild sympathy as a two-bit criminal who hopes that Dr. Vollin will reverse the plastic-surgery damage he has intentionally done to his face if he does his bidding. Inspiration for Two-Face in Batman? Trivial highlight: the tabletop horseracing game that Lugosi and his dinner guests play.

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